Chosen not as individual subject of a biography but as representative of a type of a group of prominent merchants who formed the business, civic and social backbone of New York during the last half of the 19th century. Little in his career differentiated him from his contemporaries, so the author includes many not too important details and incidents. New England stock, his father a farmer and cloth finisher; schooling, went to New York at 18 as a salesman, taking his samples to the trade in a wheelbarrow. Eventually by acumen and commonsense and hard work, he graduated to the symbols of success, a black frock coat and a high silk hat. Typical of the merchants of his time, -- thrifty, shrewd, stern though kindly, religious, an individualist, never used a shorthand stenographer, had only one telephone in his place of business, and gave his tithe to good works. Chief interest lies in picture of business life in New York, and the roster of firms and men in business. Limited appeal.